Current Research & Projects

The Center for Behavioral Health and Justice partners with community mental health agencies, local law enforcement, and jails and prisons across the state to enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration, training, and implementation of evidence-based practices. These partnerships solidify communities' desires to address the needs of those with behavioral health concerns within the criminal justice system by identifying, diverting, and treating individuals with behavioral health concerns and decreasing the burden on jails, families, and communities.

  • Statewide Jail Diversion

    The Governor's Mental Health Diversion Council was created in the Michigan Department of Community Health to advise and assist in the implementation of the Diversion Action Plan and provide recommendations for statutory, contractual, or procedural changes to improve the diversion of individuals with mental illness from the criminal justice system. As part of these efforts, jail diversion pilot programs were launched from 2014 – 2016 within the following communities.

    • Barry
    • Berrien
    • Kalamazoo
    • Kent
    • Livingston
    • Marquette
    • Monroe
    • Oakland
    • St. Joseph
    • Wayne

    The Center for Behavioral Health and Justice has served as consultants and evaluators on the pilot programs since 2015. Center staff regularly collaborate with local community mental health and law enforcement stakeholders within pilot counties to assist in the development, implementation and improvement of diversion programming across the sequential intercept model. Services include the evaluation of pilot programs, the provision of relevant and timely data findings and recommendations to support pilot counties and the Diversion Council in data-driven decision-making, identification and recommendation of best practices, and the identification of state-level policy and practice improvements.

    Find out more about the Jail Diversion Pilot Programs.

    Read more about the Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council.

  • Stepping Up Technical Assistance

    Stepping up Initiative




    Since 2015, over 433 counties across the country have committed to Stepping Up to reduce the number of individuals with mental illness in jails. Within Michigan, a total of 21 counties endorsed the initiative through 2018. While local support for Stepping Up is strong, communities often lack sufficient data and technical expertise to effectively engage in the cross-system, outcome-oriented planning necessary to move forward with the initiative. Specifically, local stakeholders often struggle with insufficient data to properly identify the target population and implement the appropriate system-wide response; to select and implement appropriate evidence-based interventions; and to develop a sustainable system to track and monitor impact.

    To assist Michigan counties in achieving the objectives of Stepping Up, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is providing the services and expertise of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice to provide technical assistance to those counties that have endorsed the Stepping Up initiative including:    

    • Alpena
    • Barry
    • Charlevoix
    • Dickinson
    • Genesee
    • Gratiot
    • Huron
    • Jackson
    • Kalamazoo
    • Kent
    • Lenawee
    • Macomb
    • Marquette
    • Monroe
    • Muskegon
    • Oakland
    • Washtenaw

    Technical assistance provided is based on the needs of the individual county, but can include:

    • Observation and assessment of advisory board                
    • Documentation of Stepping Up goals & objectives
    • Review, mapping, current jail process / Assessment of system efficacy
    • Review of current screening and assessment tools / Recommendation of evidence-based tools
    • Data review and validation
    • Development of baseline data
    • Development/implementation of data collection protocol
    • Data collection, cleaning, coding, merging, and analysis
    • Establish prevalence of SMI in jail  
    • Create context by comparing county with others across the state
    • Stakeholder action planning session
    • Presentation of findings and recommendations to stakeholders
    • Development/implementation of ongoing, sustained data collection and analysis
    • Data system integration consultation and recommendations
    • Identification of sustainability strategies

    For more information on Stepping Up technical assistance view the following:

    Get more information on the national Stepping Up initiative.

  • Michigan Re-entry Project (MI-REP)

    The Michigan Re-entry Project (MI-REP) was implemented in 2017 with funding from SAMHSA's State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis (STR) to fill a service gap for individuals in prison who have co-occurring mental health and opioid use disorders. The program is a multi-system collaboration between the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), County Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs), and University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). MI-REP utilizes the MISSION (Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking) model, which is on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices. MISSION is based on five key components: Critical Time Intervention, Dual Recovery Therapy, Peer Support, Vocational Support, and Trauma-Informed Care.

    With STR funding, MI-REP is currently being offered in two MDOC facilities – Women's Huron Valley and the Detroit Re-entry Center – for individuals being released to Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne County. MI-REP teams, comprised of a Community Mental Health case manager and peer support specialist, provide intensive wraparound supports with three months of in-reach and six months of post-release services. MI-REP participants may also opt to receive Vivitrol or other prescribed Medication Assisted Treatment.

    The CBHJ team has a dual role as systems broker and program evaluator. As the systems broker, the CBHJ team facilitates linkages, discussions, and problem-solving among stakeholders. As the program evaluator, the team is using a mixed methods approach for a comprehensive understanding of the implementation process as well as participant outcomes. The team is collecting data through focus groups, interactive meetings, and standardized screens, all of which are analyzed on an ongoing basis. Findings and recommendations are then shared with stakeholders regularly to implement practice and policy changes as needed. This feedback loop is part of the team's Plan-Do-Study-Act approach to support continuous process improvement.

    Read more on the MISSION model.